There is a long list of dangers associated with pregnancy, especially for couples who decide to have children at an older age. One of the biggest concerns is discovering, in the first months of gestation, that the fetus has a serious genetic disease. This is an event that can increase the risk of premature death. To proactively reduce this danger, an increasing number of couples are choosing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and genetic testing pre-implantation for the risk of polygenic diseases (PGT-P), which allow you to screen for many common diseases.
Despite the uncertainty and controversy surrounding the reliability of these genetic tests, many couples find comfort in the hope of having a healthy child.
Predicting a child's future doctor. A step towards eugenics?
Some genetic testing companies offer "genomic prediction," which allows you to analyze and classify the disease risk of embryos. These tests dig even deeper into genetics to "predict" additional characteristics of the unborn child, such as the ability to handle stress or susceptibility to trough.
These practices raise ethical questions and stoke fears of a dystopian society. A society where only the rich can afford to optimize their children's genes. On the other hand, those who submit their children to these genetic tests claim that they can improve the quality of life of future generations.
Genetic testing: reaping the benefits, avoiding the dangers
The boom in genetic testing for embryos will open up new opportunities in various sectors.
For public sector innovators, social policy makers will need to work on guidelines and regulations to ensure the ethical use of these technologies. Patient privacy will need to be protected, and concerns related to discrimination or misuse of genetic information will need to be addressed.
Laura Hercher, a bioethicist, expresses concern about the "commercialization of reproduction" and the societal implications if people become less tolerant of their children's traits. This technology will become increasingly widespread and will create an enormous market: it is important to discuss its limits now to avoid that in the medium term people "zap" between pregnancies to choose the "best" child.
What do you think?